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Investment Fraud and Ponzi Schemes

Even smart investors can fall for a well-orchestrated investment scam. Take the Ponzi scheme, for example. Named for Charles Ponzi, who in the early 1900s duped 30,000 Americans out of an estimated $10 million, Ponzi schemes rely on money from investors, rather than from actual profit, to pay the promised returns. Inevitably, the earnings are less than the payments, the scheme will fail, and the investors will lose money. Oil and gas production and gold coin scams are other types of investment fraud. These scams use telephone solicitors, high-pressure sales tactics, and carefully scripted sales pitches that guarantee high profits. All of these “get rich quick” schemes have one thing in common. The only guarantee is not getting your money back.

Investment Scams

Investment scams come with promises of high returns on your investment. Watch to learn more.

CA Fool’s Gold – The One That Got Away

Low risk and high reward schemes trick people into investing. Watch to learn more about investment scams.

Protect Yourself From Investment Fraud

  • Do your research

    Independently verify profitability claims. Never invest solely on what you read in a newsletter.

  • Don't feel pressured

    Watch out for high-pressure sales pitches.

  • Watch out for "once in a lifetime" chance

    Never fall for a “once in a lifetime” chance to make big money if you don’t act quickly.

  • Check Better Business Bureau

    Research the company’s reputation with your local Better Business Bureau or state attorney general’s office.

  • There are no guarantees

    Remember, investing in oil, gas, or gold can be risky, and there is no such thing as a guarantee.

Have You Witnessed This Scam?

If you’ve encountered a fraudulent investment scheme, and the U.S. Mail® has been used in any way, we want to help. Please report the crime.

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